EcoSolutions Legislative Updates

updated 3-9-21

NC State HouseLegislators have filed environmental bills this year that we are watching closely and learning more about including:

House Bill 220, “Assuring Choice of Energy Service,” sponsored by House Representatives Arp, Miller, Saine, and Szoka, would take away the ability of local governments to decide how buildings are powered. If enacted, it would prevent counties and cities from being able to transition away from gas-powered buildings to modern, electric-powered building codes, and make local commitments to 100% clean energy very difficult to achieve. Over 25 local governments in North Carolina have made such commitments. We have seen versions of this bill in at least 11 other states. H 220 was referred to the House Committee on Energy & Public Utilities.

House Bill 218, “Streamline Permits/Redevelopment of Property,” sponsored by Representative Zenger, would direct local governments to treat the expansion of the footprint of proposed structures by no more than 20% as a minor modification to a development agreement that can either be exempted from approval or administratively approved by the local government. This change may have negative water quality impacts because redevelopment classification has implications for what kind of stormwater controls are required. Stormwater runoff from developed areas is important to control so that it doesn’t pollute water that we use for drinking or recreation. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Judiciary 1.

A helpful bipartisan bill to address plastic pollution was filed this week by House Representatives Warren and Richardson, House Bill 230, “NC Managing Environmental Waste Act of 2021.” The Act, if passed, will provide funding to localities to help reduce plastic waste, establish a pilot program to reduce plastic waste at state food service facilities, and require a legislative study on plastic waste. Please take a second to send an email of thanks to Rep. Warren and Rep. Richardson for their leadership on reducing plastic waste.

Provided by:
Cassie Gavin, Senior Director of Government Relations, NC Sierra Club